The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) says COVID-19 vaccines need to undergo clinical trial before being administered on Nigerians.
Speaking when he featured on Sunrise Daily, a programme on Channels Television, Innocent Ujah, president of the association, said this step needs to be taken to determine the efficacy and adaptability of the vaccines.
He said he is not certain whether Africans were involved in the development of the vaccines, hence the need for evaluation before administration on Nigerians.
“The vaccines will come out, if it comes to Nigeria, we need to quickly do our own evaluation,” he said.
“I’m not sure, I cannot say with 100 percent certain that in the process of developing these vaccines and the clinical trial, whether an African countries are involved.
“If not, then because of the biology, environment, because of the genetics composition, we need to do our own clinical trial, very quickly before it can be used on Nigeria.
“While we do not question the efficacy and safety, the responses vary from place to place. Recall that when we were using chloroquine, the southern part was not responding to chloroquine, some parts of the north were. But in totality it was thought that chloroquine were no longer effective and we changed.”
The NMA president argued that the COVID-19 vaccines were developed under emergency and there is need to establish the response of Nigerians.
Ujah said: “Everything that is happening now is emergency. The vaccines that are being produced within nine months is emergency, otherwise vaccines production does not take within six to nine months.
“It is a process from phase 1, phase 2, phase 4, of course is the marketing, if you can say we can do this with emergency, when it is imported, we should also do our own clinical trial.”
Meanwhile, Kenya has joined the global efforts in search of an effective vaccine for COVID-19, with the start of a trial evaluating the ChAdOx1 nCoV-2019 Oxford coronavirus vaccine.
Kenya joins a number of countries including the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil who are running trials to evaluate the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine, with over 20,000 volunteers now taking part in trials across these countries.
According to a report on University of Oxford’s website, the trial in Kenya will initially involve 40 frontline workers in Kilifi county.
Once the vaccine safety is confirmed, a further 360 volunteers will be recruited with possible expansion of the trial to Mombasa County.